New year, can you believe it? We begin with a bang thinking that this year will be different. We’re going to shed all bad habits, take up good ones and finally break through THAT resistance, and vanquish all procrastination.
I have news, we are still who we were on December 31, but I can see the lure of a fresh year ahead. I entered the Goodreads reading challenge to read 55 books this year. I read a lot so I will probably make it, but maybe that is the optimism of a new year speaking? We shall see…
I did start the year with a creative bang, so at least I have that going for me. Art is in my blood, and the more art I make, the more anchored the “habit” gets. It is a good, nourishing habit!
Make art get into your blood! Take a daring step to incorporating an art habit into your daily life this year. It’s amazingly rewarding. If you are reading this blog, you are an artist. This year, give your art a great deal of love and attention. It will make you so happy.
Here are some things I made in January. These figures are elves /nature spirits / fairies, whatever you want to call them.
I made some floral paintings as well, and a funky bird. You can check out these items in my etsy shop Earth and Faery.
I have a gift for you! Yesterday I made a how-to YouTube video on painting a funky floral like the one above.
One of my most popular YT videos is the on how to make a spirit doll. You can easily make one and stuff some intentions and affirmations into it. I write them down on pieces of paper, and with the focus on my intentions, I incorporate them into the doll. So much fun! Check out that VIDEO here.
For art journaling or plain writing journaling, I have a simple tutorial on how to make your own journal. All you need is willingness, some art supplies like watercolor paper and a few paints, and some string or embroidery floss. Check that blog post HERE.
I’d love to hear what you’re working on or what difficulties you have with making art into a consistent practice. Leave a comment below or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have the best year ever, and lots of love and glitter sprinkles! 🙂
Art-making is a great way to grow a backbone of art! People say to me, “I don’t know how to begin” or “I don’t have any ideas, but I WANT to make art.” It’s contradictory in a way since what they want to do is immediately negated by an excuse.
I have written a lot about it in the past, but a reminder is always welcome.
I make art because I decided to
Art-making is not like a 9-5 job where you show up and put in your contribution and then go home. Art-making is something you have to grow so that it can support you when things look bleak.
It’s like anything: to lose weight, you decide to go on a diet. To learn a new language, you decide to take a course. That decision is the only thing keeping you away from what you want.
That is, if you REALLY want to make art. Somehow it’s a pastime that is relegated to not-very-important hobby. That is belief that stops many in their tracks.
Not everyone has to start an art biz, but the pleasure of creation is robbed from you if you don’t heed the urge to create. As you walk down the path littered by many failed paintings and other art efforts, you gain a rich momentum and a rich inner experience.
That’s where the vein of gold lies, you getting deeper into your own mystery. Your art becomes more fulfilling and sends out a deeper message. There is confidence and surety.
Art-making is a worthy endeavor!
When life in heavy, when things don’t go well, you can find solace in your own art. I know that deeply.
I made a video on how to make a cover out of a brown bag for a cheap composition book. That was wonderful fun! I will use the book as my current idea, planner, inspiration source.
I love to use old scrap paper, pieces of sentences, advertising flyers, etcetera. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but I have collected lots of paper ephemera over the years. Enjoy!
We’re almost into September, my birthday month, yay. Celebrate every day as if it’s your birthday, because it is. We are reborn every day, and each offers new opportunities for creativity, in life and art.
Creativity comes in many forms as in art, crafts, inspired thinking, problem solving, seeing the big picture and implementing the vision. There’s more, but I’m focusing on art / crafts as you know.
In these times it’s easy to get into bad habits, over-eating for comfort, watching too much television, lacking exercise, you name it. It’s like comfort food. It makes you feel comforted for a while, but your stomach might not like the addition. We seldom question these things, and we ignore our feelings and insights.
It’s human nature, of course, but to create something sustainable in whatever field, you have to apply yourself. If you don’t do what you know you want to do, you’re going to feel bad. We’ve all be there, but we don’t want to stay there.
When I was young, I procrastinated like crazy, but over time, I have developed much better habits. We want to perform well, be it at a job, or in front of the easel. My dad used to say, “if there’s something you have to do that you hate, do it immediately.” I so get what he meant. When I procrastinate, I have to THINK about the problem all the time. If I tackle it, the pain will be over quickly!
To do that, we have to set up some kind of framework. I have goal setting of sorts. I have to list things in my Etsy shop all the time to keep things fresh, so four days out of seven, I have to create something and list it.
For the most part, it works, and I have made a pact with myself to stick to the plan. Another commitment is to make something for the PFATT marketplace every month, and it can’t be a small insignificant thing. So I have to make at least two quality items, preferably four. Between Etsy and that, and two blog posts, and a newsletter, my hands are full!
But I love it!
Here’s a fun challenge
What do you love the most right now in your art practice (or other?)
List a few things you’d love to try, and then rank them. Concentrate on the top two and make a plan on how to manifest them. It could involve getting some art supplies, take a class, clean your art room.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with bullet lists. I use one loosely. Each week I make a list of everything I want to accomplish and then cross them off as I go. No hard and fast rules, but I do refer to that piece of paper to keep myself accountable.
If we have bad habits we’re not honoring ourselves.
You might not be able to break a bad habit easily, but ADD some good habits and set some artistic goals. One week is a good time frame, and as you get better at it, make a schedule for a month. I promise, you will feel so accomplished and uplifted, and more self-confident.
If we all were good self-motivators, we would be doing the things we love all the time. 🙂 I would love to hear from you how you’re using creativity to keep yourself upbeat in these times. You can write to me at email@example.com.
I get a lot of questions about procrastination. I have written many posts in the past that deal with that and fear.
The point is to take small steps in the right direction and stick to it. Anything worth doing, like art, takes time and dedication, and the rewards are great!
I have been a bit busy, but not as busy as I’d like, haha.
I made a Halloween owl for the PFATT marketplace, and a monster doll that I might offer there or on Etsy.
I don’t have a name for the owl yet. Any suggestions?
I have always loved the monster dolls on Pinterest, so I decided to try one of my own. So much fun! Sewing is not my favorite thing, but I like to mix things up. Pinterest is a great place to get ideas!
I painted and made another clay figure, and the month isn’t over yet, so who knows what comes next?
It seems I used blue a lot in my latest creations… These six items are now available in my Etsy shop, Earth and Faery.
Keep your vibe high! 🙂 Do what you love, at least fit it in between chores and work. It’s really important.
Lots of love,
P.S. TIP: keep a small journal and a pouch of pens in your purse and doodle when you’re waiting at appointments, school pick ups, and having a coffee at Starbuck’s! Where there’s a will there’s a way.
Whimsical art and “funky boho colorful display” you can call these houses that are so much fun to make!
I wrote a picture tutorial on how to make them. It’s fun and easy! Here’s one:
You can buy the wooden house shape at Michael’s or online. They are cheap and easy to alter. Since I was going to cover everything with paper, I Mod-Podged the surfaces to seal them before I attached paper scraps.
Here the papers are dry. I covered the edges as well. You can glue the paper down and then cut the excess along the edges with sharp scissors.
Below, I wiped acrylic paints over the surfaces, one pink one lavender.
I painted the door shapes, and in the image after that you can see the windows added. I used charcoal to outline the shapes in a primitive style.
To seal the charcoal, which can be messy if not sealed, I used a spray varnish. It’s best to spray them outside because the fumes are wicked. I let the houses dry outside as well.
I then drilled the holes for the tiny birds I’d made as an embellishment on the roof. Whimsical touch… 🙂
I painted the houses the same colors on the back as on the front. The edges got a contrasting color.
When I make polymer clay tiles for my mosaics, I usually make some extra cut-outs. I use cookie cutters for these shapes, bake them, and paint them. They make cute banners! I also glued some flowers at the bottom on the pink house. I varnished the back and the edges with gloss varnish. The shine brings out the colors nicely.
I used super glue to attach the steel wire to the birds and the houses. They will stay in for a long time! 🙂
Below is another example of a green house.
Now I have to make more stars and pennants. I used them all in these projects.
Wood shapes are great because you can make so much with them. If you read my blog you know I like to combine wood and polymer clay. One of my most cherished sellers is the angel with a message.
What gets your imagination going?
I get my inspiration from actually making stuff. One thing leads to another, new ideas pop up as I’m in the middle of the process. Most of them are good ideas that can be realized without too much pain. I also get inspiration from other artists on Instagram and Pinterest.
Don’t let fear stop you from experimenting. The figure below is my latest experimentation. I have a hard time sculpting faces, but I decided to use a face mold that I proceeded to alter. However, I keep working on my skills; it’s the only way to master a new technique.
I wish you lots of inspiration! Try something new today. 🙂
What is holding you back? Fear? Excuses? They are all one and the same, and it sums up to fear. When it comes to creating any kind of art, fear is a constant companion, usually in the shape of resistance.
I wrote a post about resistance and it’s worth a read if you’re not getting anywhere with your art. Lately, I’ve heard a lot of excuses why people don’t create even though they want to at heart.
I suffer from resistance a lot, especially when I’m trying some new art supply or style. Recently, I picked up some tubs of Apoxie Sculpt. (I wrote about it in my last post.) I debated then to put it aside, but I decided to try some more projects with that type of clay. It’s still frustrating to work with, but I have persevered.
Since the clay is pretty expensive, I try to use as many shapes underneath as I can and then cover with a thin layer of clay. It makes it less heavy as well. I bought some styrofoam balls, and to form the body of the birds below, I used one large for the body and one small for the head. I used popsicle sticks, broken in half, to form tails and necks. Here are the end results, a couple of circus birds on “wheels.”
They were fun to make. I used blocks of wood that I covered with papers and wooden wheels. The legs are 19 gauge steel wire. It was a challenge to make these birds, but why not stretch oneself, despite the resistance?
If fear is holding you back…
The only way to overcome it is to do the thing you’re afraid of. Otherwise, it will haunt you. I know this well from previous experiences.
I have found I like making art assemblages. I had to use a drill for simple holes, and it felt awkward and new, but maybe it’s the beginning of new fields of experience.
Don’t let fear hold you back if you want to renew your life, your experiences. It’s not just artistic expression. It’s so easy to stay in the comfort zone, but life gets boring in the long run.
To mix things up, even more, I prepped a bunch of canvases for later use. I love to add mixed media as I go, and I even finished one project when I saw a robust lady emerge from the layers.
I also made some of my usual objects for sale in my Etsy shop these last few days.
I love the little mosaic Virgin Mary shrines, and now I have used my last Altoids tin!
It’s time to be brave! Make the time to be an explorer, kick the excuses to the curb. Every day is another opportunity for fun creativity.
Dastardly Owl was so much fun to make. I did not come up with that name; Ann Wood did. I used her pattern to make him and it was so much fun! She also has a lot of free patterns on her website if you like sewing small creatures. I’ll post a link at the end of this post. So this was a detour for me, and I learned that I can still sew even if I don’t sew much these days. Now I’m hooked on fabric birds, but it’s anyone’s guess how long that fascination will last.
There are so many patterns and creative people out there! I can easily spend hours on Pinterest if I start cruising. The dangers of social media, right?
Things were busy around Thanksgiving, but I still had a productive November, and it makes me feel good. I made mostly mosaics but also got some painting in, though painting is at the hub of my frustration with art-making.
Every day is a challenge when it comes to painting. Here are a couple of items from November’s collection.
As you can see, I tried a lot of different things to challenge myself. Most of the items are on sale in my Etsy shop, free shipping across the board.
My goal is to make all the Christmas gifts this year. No shopping on Amazon or elsewhere. Are you making any gifts?
There is a sweet needle case on Ann Wood’s site that would make a great gift. Needle book pattern. Even if your friends don’t sew or make crafts, everyone can use needle and thread.
Your woo-woo friends might like a Spirit Doll tin, made from random papers and an empty tin. The post is HERE.
You could make a set of homemade mixed media cards. They don’t have to be Christmas related. Here is a tutorial for a Mixed Media Card. You can buy sets of blank cards and envelopes at places like Joann Fabrics.
I usually love homemade gifts even if they are not perfect. Don’t let your feelings of inadequacy stand in the way of creating something personal. The gift will be one-of-a-kind. 🙂